RSIS Book Launch Webinar of “Contesting Sovereignty: Power and Practice in Africa and Southeast Asia” by Dr Joel Ng, Research Fellow, Centre for Multilateralism Studies, RSIS
Sovereignty is a foundational idea upon which regional organisation of nations is built, yet its demise has often been predicted. Regionalism, which commits states to common frameworks such as rules and norms, tests sovereignty as states relinquish some sovereign power to achieve other goals such as security, growth, or liberalisation. This book examines the practice of normative contestation over sovereignty in two regional organisations of Africa and Asia – the AU and ASEAN. A structured comparison of three case studies from each organisation determines whether a norm challenging sovereignty was accepted, rejected, or qualified. Ng has carried out interviews about, and detailed analysis of, these six cases that occurred at formative moments of norm-setting and that each had very different outcomes. This study contributes to the understanding of norms contestation in the field of international relations and offers new insights on how the AU and ASEAN are constituted.
The book is available for purchase from Cambridge University Press.
About the Author
Joel Ng is Research Fellow in the Centre for Multilateralism Studies. His research covers regionalism, norms, and integration in the Global South, focusing on ASEAN and the African Union in particular. He has previously worked in the non-profit and private sectors, working on refugee issues and investor relations respectively. He is the author of Contesting Sovereignty: Power and Practice in Africa and Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2021). Joel Ng has a DPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was an Oxford-Swire scholar, and also holds a MA (Distinction) from the University of Sussex, and a BA (Hons) from the University of East Anglia.